June 14th, 2017 | Rachel Parry
Though couples marry all the year through, summer remains peak wedding season with brides and grooms pinning their hopes on warm and dry weather for their special day.
And as we’re just on the cusp of official British summer beginning, we thought what better way to see in the new season (and hopefully the sunshine) than with some top tips for those of you planning summer celebrations.
Today’s words of wisdom come courtesy of our fabulous Sponsor, award winning hospitality and event management company Dine. Established in 1998, Yorkshire-based Dine caters for more 200 weddings a year as well as offering exclusive private dining. Through its stunning portfolio of venues, the team provide event services for organisations ranging from English Heritage and the National Trust to the owners of some of the UK’s most notable private houses, providing a varied choice of beautiful big day settings.
For this afternoon’s post, we’re welcoming Dine’s managing director, Matt Jones, to the blog to share some of his pro pointers on planning a wedding in the season of blue skies and sunshine…
Matt says: If a summer wedding is something you have been dreaming of, Yorkshire is the perfect county in which to realise your dreams. With Dine’s impressive portfolio of stunning venues, from historic castles and magical gardens to spectacular deer parks and unique marquees, if planned properly a summer wedding can be truly breath-taking.
Make sure to start booking both venues and suppliers months, or sometimes years, in advance – a longer engagement is more sensible for a summer wedding. While it can be helpful to have several venues and suppliers in mind, if you plan ahead more options will be available. Flexibility is important for a successful summer wedding, but that still doesn’t mean that you should settle for options that won’t make you happy. Hiring an experienced event planner like Dine ensures that your most cherished dreams can become your reality on the day.
A marquee can make a stunning backdrop to your celebrations and offer the ultimate flexibility. They can accommodate as many or as few guests as you choose and are available in a vast range of styles – from tipis and vintage army tents to on trend sailcloth. If you don’t have enough room in your garden, Dine offers a number of stunning sites which make the most of Yorkshire’s breath-taking countryside. Choose from panoramic views at Bolton Abbey, lakeside settings at historic Ripley Castle and the Gothic-style Carlton Towers, or the quintessentially English Dalton Hall walled garden.
A well-chosen indoor venue can be equally impressive however – providing picturesque views over gardens through large picture windows and respite from whatever the weather might throw at you.
Dine’s flagship venue The Mansion is perfect for any bride-to-be looking for the best of both worlds. Set in Roundhay Park, Leeds, one of the largest urban parks in Europe, the Greek Palladian style building offers several ceremony and reception rooms of varying sizes all with large windows overlooking the park and modern, luxurious décor.
Other exciting Dine venues include the magnificent Wentworth Woodhouse with a façade longer than Buckingham Palace, the chic city venue New Craven Hall and the glorious 18th century Palladian mansion Nostell Priory set in enchanting gardens.
While you can have a fantastic wedding breakfast in any season of the year, there’s so much more variety during the summer months. The sheer choice makes choosing (and tasting) your menu a lot of fun. With such an extensive range of choice available, it is reassuring to choose a specialist caterer and events manager such as Dine which can recommend what will work best and help you narrow down your menu choices.
The warmer summer months are the perfect opportunity to incorporate light and spicy foods from around the world. Canapés can be a fantastic way of incorporating small elements of international cuisine into your wedding breakfast without intimidating your more traditional guests. A ‘shot’ of Teriyaki beef, giant tiger prawns, and wild mushroom and truffle arancini are only a small selection of global ingredients available in summer.
The great weather also means that more informal, outdoor dining experiences are perfect for a wedding with a twist. Dine can offer a wide range of interesting and relaxed dining options including carnival themes, barbecues, picnic hampers, bowl and street food that take advantage of the fantastic weather and produce that is available. A more casual wedding breakfast can be a unique experience and a great conversation starter.
Dine can also cater for you if you’re concerned about veering too far from the traditional wedding food route. Traditional British food, such as mini sausage and mash, mini roast dinners and lobster ‘n’ chips, ensure that some time-honoured seasonal Yorkshire produce is incorporated into your wedding breakfast.
May 23rd, 2017 | Alexis Forsyth
Editor’s note: We were saddened to wake up this morning to the horrific news of the Manchester arena attack. Our thoughts are with the victims and their families on this dreadful day. We hope that our readers – no matter where you live – all draw your loved ones close for an extra kiss or hug this evening. Love always x
It’s always refreshing to see a bride and groom do things a little differently on their special day. And today’s couple, Alex and Pete, did exactly that.
Firstly, let’s talk about the dress. Forget your classic white, ivory, champagne or cream tones – instead, Alex plumped for a gorgeous bronze gown that perfectly complemented their navy and blush daytime colour scheme.
Gone too were the traditional favours and cake, instead our couple served up a scrumptious selection of desserts and a Mexican themed reception complete with a tasty buffet. But, as Alex reveals, there are a few nods to all things traditional, too – including a vintage convertible car which, we have to confess, has got us dreaming of driving off into the sunset with our veil blowing in the breeze…
With images by Brides Up North Sponsor, ER Photography.
alex says: We got engaged in December 2014 in Edinburgh. We went to a cosy whisky bar to escape the rain when Pete surprised me with a beautiful ring!
We got married on 6th August. The 7th was the day we met and sits right between our birthdays so this had always been a special weekend for us.
We tied the knot at St Mary’s Church in Davyhulme, only a two-minute walk from our house. The church is beautiful and we wanted to keep the ceremony as close to home as we could.
We chose a traditional ceremony with a Mexican fiesta theme for our reception. We didn’t want a typical ‘out of the box’ wedding and the theme suited us perfectly – our aim was for everyone to have a great time and celebrate with us. We were imagining a Mexican cantina on a hot summer’s night!
We had our reception at The Grill at 27 in Urmston. Martin and the team were more than accommodating and enthusiastic about letting us decorate the venue whichever way we wanted. The food was fab and the drink was flowing! We can’t thank them enough!
We decided on navy, bronze and blush colours for the daytime part of the wedding, and then bright colours for the evening. We wanted a classic colour scheme that could translate to the evening. The metallic and navy sat great alongside our Mexican theme, too.
May 17th, 2017 | Rachel Parry
Outfit by Coast
Finally the first rays of summer are starting to shine through and we can’t wait to start building up our wardrobe with lighter, shorter and brighter attire!
The high street is awash with vibrant hues and so we are making a conscious effort to step away from our monochrome safety net and try something a little more daring. And through today’s post, we’ll be encouraging you to do the same as we suggest some lively guest outfit options for those of you attending weddings in the coming months.
So ladies, be bold, be brave and prepare for some serious colour blocking…
Boss Nova Stripe Midi Dress, £149, Coast – We are totally besotted with Coast’s latest collection and this bright beauty has to be one of our very favourites, with a punchy striped pattern and on-trend handkerchief hem.
Manzoni 3D Floral Lace Dress, £170, from French Connection – The bridal world is blossoming with 3D florals so were pleased to see them making an impact on the high street too! We love this sophisticated cornflower blue number.
Asymmetric Skirt, £42, from Warehouse – A two piece is the ultimate way to colour block by picking tones that either complement or contrast for the top and bottom half. This cerise pink skirt would be a great buy for both occasion and holiday wear.
Frilled Sleeve Dress, £29.99, from Zara – Big sleeves continue to rein supreme in the summer season and we adore the simplicity (and price!) of this sunshine shift dress.
Emma Circle Lace Dress, £249, from Whistles – You can’t go wrong with lace for a wedding and so this gorgeous Whistles design easily makes our top picks. Just peachy!
Double Breasted Suit Jacket, £65, and trousers, £35, from Topshop – While it won’t be everyone’s go-to colour, we think this gorgeous jewel toned co-ord is a sure way to make a colour blocking statement this summer.
Krissi Cold Shoulder Top, £39, from Coast – A possible partner for the Warehouse skirt or Topshop co-ord, this cobalt blue top ticks two trend boxes – cold shoulder and ruffles – and will take you all through the season.
Alice + Olivia Trinity Cutout Jumpsuit, £415, from Net-A-Porter – Simple, sexy and sophisticated, what more can we say?
Myley Marina Mosaic Skater Dress, £160, from Ted Baker – A less in-you-face option, we love the gorgeous tones on this super-sweet skater dress.
Rubies Gem Embellished Sandals, £59, from Topshop – Fun and fanciful, these heels look good enough to eat!
Lillia sunglasses, £120, from Ted Baker – A summer wedding staple and we’re going oversized for a true WAG look.
Oscar de la Renta Tasseled Swarovski Crystal Clip Earrings, £385, from Net-A-Porter – The ‘it’ of earrings right now, these tassel beauties have been on our wish list like, forever!
Faux Leather Twist Lock Bag, £25, from Marks & Spencer – Just the right size for those wedding day essentials and a bargain price too, thank you M&S.
Made Shiny Birds Nest Bangle, £35, from Whistles – Nothing quite says summer accessorising like a stack of bangles and bracelets.
On To Point Court Heels, £68, from Office – Courts with clout and a sure way to make your outfit pop!
Faux Pearl Earrings with Fringe, £12.99, from Zara – When just one style won’t do, do as Zara does and roll them all into one!
Luxe Drop Collar, £8, from Oasis – Be a metallic goddess with the addition of this bohemian style collar.
Ostana Feather Fascinator, £79, from Coast – Admittedly only for the very brave, but we couldn’t resist this statement headpiece.
Pineapple Bucket Bag, £49.99, from Zara – A step too far? Nah – it is summer after all!
April 24th, 2017 | Alexis Forsyth
Today’s real wedding is a dreamy, laid-back affair with bags of country charm.
Pretty blooms, pastel hues and some frolicking in a cream camper van and a pond are just a few of our favourite moments from Jess and Adam’s big day. And let’s not forget about Jess taking to the stage to perform with her own band – certainly a bride that rocks!
With images by Fossca Photography.
jess says: Adam proposed on my 21st birthday while we were away in London together.
We set the wedding date for 7th August 2016. We chose this time of year because we wanted a summer wedding with plenty of time for a honeymoon afterwards, as I work as a teacher.
The wedding ceremony took place at All Saints Church in Wighill, and our reception was held at Priory Cottages in Wetherby. The venue ticked every box and was perfect for our rustic themed day.
We complemented the setting with a pastel pink and peach colour scheme. I’m not usually that much of a ‘girly girl’ but wanted to go all-out for our wedding day!
After having no idea what dress I wanted, I found the most beautiful dress shop, Glory Days Bridal in York. I fell in love with a minimalist silk dress – no zips, no buttons – just elegant. It was specially made; I felt amazing and so comfortable while wearing it.
Adam hates having his top button done up, so it was a no-tie affair. He wore tweed trousers, a white shirt and tweed waistcoat to match, all from the high street.
The groomsmen wore the same tweed trousers as the groom, with a patterned shirt and braces. They all looked so handsome.
The bridesmaid dresses were a steal from H&M; pastel pink and simple.
March 21st, 2017 | Alexis Forsyth
Tying the knot in the Lunedale Valley in Teesdale last August, our couple Natalie and Will went to great lengths to involve their guests in their summer wedding – including the family sheep and chickens – in every element of preparing for their day.
Throw in a beautiful colour scheme inspired by the heather and wildflowers in the surrounding terrain, together with the family tartan, a spot of paddling and the most stunning tree chandelier we’ve ever seen, and you’ve got yourself a wedding that’s like no other.
Natalie, who would like to dedicate this blog post to her Uncle Iain Macintyre, who sadly died shortly after the wedding, shares all the special details.
With images from Bloom Weddings.
natalie says: We had known each other for years. After our paths crossing when we both worked for a local wedding venue, and with me finally moving into my first home – which happened to be in Will’s local village – he finally plucked up the courage to ask me out. On our one-year anniversary whilst we were holidaying in Iceland chasing the Northern Lights, he got down on one knee on a glacier and presented me with a gorgeous vintage ring. Of course, I said yes!
We decided that as we both love the outdoors, we wanted to be married in our parent’s bottom field and that the start of August would be ideal. It meant we could spend lots of time outdoors enjoying the stunning scenery the venue had to offer.
The wedding was very much focused in the Lunedale Valley in Teesdale. The morning began with the bridal party assembled in my mum and dad’s house with batches of bacon sarnies and glasses of Prosecco. Hair and make-up was provided by Vikki and Jordon from the Zhoo in Barnard Castle, who were fantastic and even helped us with last minute tweaks in the marquee. My beautiful bridesmaids did their own hair and make-up and we added flowers into their plaits to tie their hair with my hairstyle.
We chose a gorgeous small church known affectionately as the ‘holy barn’ because of its rustic and humble beginnings and its stunning view over the valley. It’s a really small church, which was perfect for us, as it meant we could have a lovely intimate wedding that we craved. We spent a lot of time going to services in the run up to our wedding and really got to know the Reverend and all the people of the church. This made the service itself really special as everyone went really above and beyond to make it so personal. The ladies of the church were kind in helping with our flowers, and giving us access to the church to make sure we could add our little details to make it so ‘us’.
January 30th, 2017 | Alexis Forsyth
Today on the blog, we have our umbrellas at the ready, as we meet a couple who show us how to make the most of a rainy wedding day in Cumbria.
Park House Barn provided the rustic backdrop to Charlotte and Anthony’s laid-back boho wedding, complete with a BBQ, woodfired pizza van, ceilidh, games and an actual cheese cake for a wedding cake.
With images by Jessica Grace Photography
charlotte says: We got engaged whilst on a road trip in south west USA. We were camping in the desert in Utah – Anthony had been planning a romantic proposal by the campfire on a starlit night, but on the night he’d planned, a storm hit. He decided to go on ahead and ask anyway, sheltering from the gales and rain in the tent! It was definitely unexpected!
We got married on Saturday 3 September. We both love that time of year – and we thought it was a good bet for some good weather!
We tied the knot at Park House Barn in the south Lakes. We chose this venue because it’s a stunning, rustic building, and we could see that it had so much potential. We loved the idea of just being able to do our own thing – and use thousands of fairy lights! We’re both from the north west and have always felt that the Lakes are a beautiful part of the world.
The general style was relaxed, fun, colourful and a little bit bohemian. An accidental vintage map theme also developed as everything came together! My grandfather used to draw these amazing intricate maps as a hobby, and I’ve just always loved old maps and atlases. As we have grand plans of a belated travelling-honeymoon in 2018, it seemed like a fitting theme.
There wasn’t a strict colour theme. The flowers were simply white wildflowers and gypsophila (with a few blush roses for the bridal bouquet) with lots of greens and herbs. We wanted to let the building and lighting to do a lot of the talking. We had rainbow umbrellas, colourful signs and multi-coloured macarons to add some colour and lots of fun.
My dress was by Anna Campbell, and we got it from Jean Jackson Couture NQ in Manchester – I’d seen it on the internet, and instantly fell in love with it. I’d tried a handful of other dresses on, but this one just felt so comfortable and natural. I think I was always going to end up in lace.
Anthony was keen to keep it simple. He bought about eight high street suits and then picked his favourite!
The bridesmaids were all in Needle and Thread dresses, which they picked themselves. I didn’t really mind what they wore, as long as they were broadly in keeping with the venue/vibe of the wedding, and moreover, that they were all happy. The groomsmen all wore navy blue suits, and ‘granddad’ collars – which was Anthony’s idea.
Our photographer was Jesse, of Jessica Grace Photography, who we heard about from a friend-of-a-friend. She did a brilliant job on the day – making us feel at ease and taking lots of natural photos, which is what we asked for. The weather was certainly challenging from a photographer’s point of view, but Jesse just got on with it.
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